The Listening Chart

If there’s one thing that Internet Debates have proven, it’s that it’s darn hard to discuss issues with someone who is already convinced of the truth.

That’s because as soon as you disagree, the other person is judging, categorizing, and most likely dismissing you.

Below is a handy-dandy reference chart so you, too, can decide if you really have to listen to somebody who doesn’t agree with what you said. This is the conservative Christian version. For other varieties, the questions change, but the methodology is the same.

With some dedication, you too can become a self-appointed Guardian of the Truth, and never have to consider an opposing opinion again.

You will rule the Internet.

You say: “I hear what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I agree.”

Guardian’s brain says: This person is disagreeing with me. Do I have to listen?

Categorization Sequence commencing

  1. Is this person a Christian?
    1. No – I don’t have to listen
    2. Yes
      1. What kind of Christian?
        1. Someone whose theology, lifestyle, social opinions, and view of Creation is very similar to mine – I might listen
        2. Not all the above – I don’t have to listen
  1. Is this person male or female?
    1. Male – I might listen
    2. Female: What marriage model does she hold to?
      1. Patriarchy: “obedient to husband’s authority in all things”
      2. Complementarianism: “honor husband and defer to his authority”
      3. Egalitarianism: “my husband and I are equal partners who submit to one another”
        If I consider her particular model unbiblical, I don’t have to listen
  1. How does this person express himself/herself?
    1. Referencing logic, literature, and human experience, along with the Bible and commentaries that I don’t agree with – I don’t have to listen
    2. Quoting Scripture
      1.  Does he/she quote Scripture as well as I do?
        1. No — I don’t have to listen
      2. How does he/she interpret the Scripture?
        1. The same as I do – I might listen
        2. Differently from me — I don’t have to listen
  1. Is this person God?
    1. Is she female? – I don’t have to listen
    2. Is he male?
      1. Does he agree with my interpretations of Scripture and how it applies to my life and everyone else’s life regardless of generation, health, background, or personality?
        1. No – He is not God. I don’t have to listen
        2. Yes – Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.
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